Chickens are quickly becoming popular as more people wish to raise a family on a homestead. Unfortunately, chickens are prone to a ton of insects and bugs, a natural food source for a foraging chicken. One of the biggest causes of concern is the roaches that may exist in and around the chicken coop. Do Chickens eat cockroaches they find around the pen?
Chickens eat cockroaches and other insects that provide valuable nutrition to the bird. Therefore, coop owners should be wary of spraying cockroaches as they can pass the poison to the chicken when the bird consumes them.
Roaches are attracted to dark, wet, and damp places, including the chicken coop. Since the roach is foraging when the chickens are asleep, the opportunity for the chicken to eat the cockroach is narrow. Chickens also do not see very well in the dark; however, natural predators of the cockroach do exist in some tropical regions.
Do Chickens Attract Roaches?
Chickens themselves do not attract roaches. The cockroach may be the world’s most versatile survivor; however, nothing can escape death when eaten.
However, cockroaches and water bugs continuously navigate and burrow in and around chicken coops despite the imminent danger of being eaten.
Cockroaches search for warmth and food sources and attempt to stay hidden during daylight hours. (source: uky.edu)
Chicken Habitats Can Attract Several Types of Insects, Including:
Cockroaches are attracted to dark, damp environments, such as a chicken coop or other places around a foraging pasture. As a result, cockroaches exist all around us in most areas of the united states; only they stay to themselves unless their nest (source: terminix) becomes too crowded.
With an infestation of cockroaches, the roaches search for food in areas where they are usually not found.
Here’s a video where feeding cockroaches to chickens didn’t go so well:
Cockroaches roam the chicken coop when the birds sleep on their perches at night. Chickens do not see the best at night and may not actively attempt to catch the roaches.
Roaches are easy to take care of with food-grade diatomaceous earth or using baking soda as a deterrent. These methods make the environment unfriendly to cockroaches and other insects while maintaining a safe environment for the bird.
Does Anything Prey on Cockroaches?
If you wonder if the cockroaches will attract other predators to the chicken coop, the concern may not be too far off. In addition, some other more pressing pests may be tempted to the area simply because of the easy access to their food sources. Some of these predators are cause for concern in the world’s tropical regions.
The Brown Huntsman Spider
If living in a tropical climate, the brown huntsman spider is a natural enemy of the roach. These spiders will actively hunt and are prolific roach killers.
Unfortunately, they also eat birds, frogs, lizards, and anything else that the huntsman can get its fangs on. One of the things that the huntsman spider is known for is eating mice. This spider is mildly toxic to humans if bitten, but the bite can be painful.
Frogs, Toads, and Other Amphibians eat Roaches.
Some lizards are easily distracted by their surroundings, and others actively pursue the cockroach for a limited distance before becoming bored (source: nih.gov) with the hunt.
These predators of the cockroach are opportunistic predators, meaning they will eat the cockroach if the opportunity arises. The same goes for mice and cats that will mostly play with the roach and eat it if the opportunity arises.
The Emerald Cockroach Wasp
Also, a tropical insect, the emerald cockroach wasp gets its name from its emerald-style metallic color. Do not let this wasp fool you; they sting the roach twice, administering venom that paralysis the insect while the wasp continues to feed on the cockroach while it is alive.
So not only does the wasp devour the roach alive, but it also brings it back to its nest to share with its friends and family.
What are the Natural Enemies of Cockroaches?
Cockroaches exist in a variety of seventy species across North America alone; roaches are a common insect with plenty of predators to keep them at bay, including humans.
The cockroach has many natural enemies across the globe, aside from the other animals that naturally prey upon the roaches, as mentioned above.
Lizards and birds’ prey on cockroaches and other insects as a food source. However, the biggest predator of the cockroach is the human being.
Especially now, bugs are a new source of nutrients for human beings in some parts of the world and expanding. Crickets are primarily used in food production for bugs, but some other bugs, such as ants and roaches, are also used.
Roaches and Bugs as a Food Source
In some parts of the world, cockroaches supplement proteins and other additives to food, including food coloring and other ingredients.
In addition, the bugs are processed to extract a specific element to produce some food items in an industrial plant. Therefore, these bugs are raised in a controlled environment for the particular purpose of food production.
Some popular food items made from insects include (crickets):
- Cricket flour
- Burger patties
- Protein bars
- Red food dye
Humans will Use Pest Control Measures to Eradicate Roaches
Most people will use chemical remedies to eradicate a cockroach infestation. However, this method should be discouraged when raising chickens or other fowl that may consume the roach as a food source. A dead insect killed using poison can easily pass the poison onto the fowl.
Relying on Natural Predators is not a Viable Solution
Over seventy types of roaches’ crawl across various moist, dark, and damp environments that the cockroach calls home. If the roach is available when the chicken is feeding, it is a perfect snack or meal for the chicken; otherwise, it is just an infestation that should be dealt with naturally.
Relying on other pests to eradicate the roach problem is never a promising idea, especially in tropical regions, as it will attract even more unwanted pests.